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Friday, August 05, 2005


Glory Days

While staying at my parents' house this week, I took the time to dig up my Sophomore and Junior yearbooks. The reason I wanted to find them was to show my wife what a friend of mine she recently met looked like when he was in high school. It threw me, you see, when, during a discussion of my friends, she said, "Now, that the bald one?" I haven't hung out with this guy since college, you see, and so the predominant image I have of him in my head is that of a guy with thinning--but still there--hair. So when my wife said that, I had to stop and think for a minute before saying, "Um, yeah. The bald one."

Once I found these yearbooks, I sat down with them and looked them over. I noticed the same things that I notice on those occasions when I look through my Senior yearbook, mainly how sweaters in the late 80s looked like Kandinsky paintings reproduced in yarn and how truly awful hair was in Ohio when I was a teenager. I swear to god, some of these girls had their locks teased a good three feet above their skulls. And mullets! Sweet merciful Jesus, the mullets. If my high school had an official haircut in 1988, it was the mullet. A whole bunch of guys whose necks never got cold.

But apart from the fashion, or complete and utter lack thereof, I was struck most by the inscriptions people wrote in my yearbook.

Now, I don't know how it's done at most schools, but at my school, my Junior yearbook was the one that had all of the signatures in it, because we didn't get our senior yearbooks until the following autumn, when they'd developed and laid out all the exciting pictures of graduation. It takes time to do it right, you see.

I read through everything people had written in my notebook and I thought, "Huh. Interesting. People didn't really seem to like me that much, did they?" Depressing!

I imagine most people get stuff written in their books like, "You are awesome! Always remember the time we drank that bottle of bourbon and kidnapped the sea lions from the zoo and set them loose in the school pool! You are my friend and my brother forever!" or "I wouldn't have made it back from that field trip to the bologna factory if you hadn't given me CPR when that chunk of braunschwieger lodged in my throat. I owe you my life, dude." Not me.

I got, "Although you started coming here in 7th grade, I'm sorry but I don't really remember you being here until high school" and "Try not to get too defensive, everyone isn't against you." They wrote, "You're not an asshole, just an obnoxious guy." My "uniqueness" was remarked upon by a number of people: "You've got your own style" and "You're definitely one of a kind" and "You're the only guy who continuously calls me 'Tex'--and I don't know why." Other guys had girls write things like, "I always had a crush on you, but never told." About the closest I came to that was, "The one thing we do well together is disagree, but I'll always respect you." Hot!

There were also a couple of people who made reference to my girlfriend, who I'd begun seeing in late May. They wrote, "I hope things work out between you and Julie" and "Julie's a really great person. Don't blow it!" She of course dumped me before graduation.

Now, I've never been one to look at high school through rose-colored glasses. I thought it mostly sucked. I haven't kept in touch with anyone who graduated with me; I didn't go to my ten-year reunion. I always thought--and rightly so, in hind sight--that I'd make closer friends in college. Still, it's kind of comforting to think that maybe people were fonder of you than you realized. I guess I can now strike that notion right the fuck out of my head.


This is only marginally less depressing than being in Jacobs Field for the one game of a three-day home stand against the Yankees that Cleveland lost. Have I mentioned how much I fucking hate the Yankees? Bastards.

So, yeah. I'm gonna go drink myself to sleep now.

Well, you rock MY world. And I also think you're ummm . . . "interesting" - but in a good way. So glad it didn't work out with Julie. See you this summer!
Just checked out my junior high (7th grade yearbook):

"Next time, run a little faster" (huh?), "You're a good soccer player!" (I actually don't recall ever playing soccer in my life--was this some sort of joke? Did I get it at the time?), "Always remember, you're a great person . . . you're an awesome 8th grader" (I can't help but wonder if I was weeping at the time and this person was trying to make me feel better--why the double "you're ok" sentiment?), "You rule in my book for shur!" (no signature), and "You made my mornings much more interesting." I made someone's mornings more "interesting." Because I flapped around like a chicken? Because I had something intellectually stimulating to say every morning? Or because I was a weird kid? Who knows. Anyway, the bottom line is, no one gets the smart, funny, interesting kid, anway. But they grow up to be smart, interesting people. Unlike others who didn't and will never "get it."
Reading your blog and I figured you'd be interested in advancing your life a bit, call us at 1-206-339-5106. No tests, books or exams, easiest way to get a Bachelors, Masters, MBA, Doctorate or Ph.D in almost any field.

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Hehehe, this reminded me of my school time. I have to admit, I loved it. But my wife is a teacher and so I'm still in touch.
Hey there, 'advancing your life' guy: Try advancing your dick up your own ass! (i.e. GO FUCK YOURSELF!) I would, though, like to see the magic bit where I get a Ph.D from you without even cracking a text.

And Joe, I dunno, man. All my yearbook entries are from either hot chicks who were totally into me or from guys that wanted to be just like me. The entries spoke of the closeness we shared and all of the life lessons we had learned from one another. A couple of the entries are downright sexually aggressive in hindsight (yours included)!

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